21 July 2018, Sat, 11:22

Global Slavery Index; 592,000 live in modern slavery in Bangladesh

An estimated 592,000 people in Bangladesh could be living in modern slavery, a condition of servitude defined as forced and state-imposed labour, sexual servitude and forced marriage, says The Global Slavery Index 2018 released on July 19.

This means 3.67 per 1,000 people face the situation in the country that ranks the 92nd among the 167 countries surveyed by Australia's Walk Free Foundation.

“It is a confronting reality that even in the present day, men, women and children all over the world remain victims of modern slavery.

They are bought and sold in public markets, forced to marry against their will and provide labour under the guise of marriage, forced to work inside clandestine factories on the promise of a salary that is often withheld …,” said the report.

According to the index, more than 40 million people worldwide face such modern slavery, and most victims live in Asia. North Korea has the highest prevalence of modern slavery globally, with one in 10 of the population, or 2.6 million people, victims of modern slavery.

Other nine countries where the prevalence is the highest include Eritrea, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Mauritania, South Sudan, Pakistan, Cambodia and Iran.

India was home to the largest total number with an estimated 8 million people facing modern slavery among its 1.3 billion population.

Japan was found having the lowest prevalence of modern slavery with 0.3 per 1,000.

A third, or 15 million, of victims of modern slavery enter through forced marriage, an issue that disproportionately affects women and girls.

“Overall, the cultural practice of forced marriage places women at greater risk of exploitation, and the potential subjection to a life of servitude, financial bondage and sexual exploitation that comes with modern slavery,” the report said.

The prevalence of modern slavery in highly developed, high-income countries is higher than previously understood, it said.

“For example, if an Indian man reported being exploited in the construction sector in the United Arab Emirates, that case was attributed to the UAE,” the report said.

More than 400,000 people could be living in “modern slavery” in the US, the report added.

“The United States is one of the most advanced countries in the world yet has more than 400,000 modern slaves working under forced labour conditions,” said the group's founder, Andrew Forrest, reports The Guardian.